Linwood supervisors updated on cemetery grave situation

Park project, carp barriers, fire department also discussed


Alice Pickering
Linwood Reporter

At the Aug. 13 Linwood Town Board meeting Cindy Gruett, Cemetery Committee chair, continued her follow-up regarding a grave relocation. Remains were inadvertently buried in a plot reserved for another family.

Minnesota Statute 306.155 deals with “Corrections of Interment Errors.” In summary, either the two families agree in writing to leave things as they are, or the operator of the cemetery, in this case Linwood Township, “shall disinter the burial container wrongfully interred, identify the burial container, and re-inter it in the proper burial space.”

All along, the goal has been to act with sensitivity to remedy the problem. This has been in the form of an apology and an offer to move the remains to a vacant lot at township expense.

In addition, “the cemetery must give reasonable notice” of all these events to those entitled to control remains. They may also witness these activities.

Supervisor Carol Searing had concern that the mistake was discovered in May, and “it’s now August and two families remain in limbo.”

Clerk Judy Hanna said she had sent a document to the family whereby they give permission for all the changes. It must be notarized. The family wants the following language added: “The township is accepting all responsibility for costs.”

Hanna said it has been difficult to contact the family.

Fire Department update

Linwood’s new fire engine is complete and in service, according to Fire Chief Darryl Ballman. Technicians from Pierce Company came to Linwood July 31 for an on-site check of the truck. Supervisor Bob Millerbernd complimented the work of the truck committee and noted that the Stacy Fire Department recently purchased a new truck from the same company and is pleased with the unit.

Supervisor Mike Halliday complimented the department for quick action taken to secure the grass rig once it became available from the Department of Natural Resources. The department was aware that the DNR was closing the East Bethel station. Ballman reported that the department also was able to get about $1,000 worth of additional gear from the DNR.

The resurfacing of the station floor began Aug. 14. and was to take about a week. The trucks and turn-out gear were to be stored at Steve Erickson’s property in the meantime.

Former Fire Chief Ken Minske was honored at an open house on Aug. 18 at Hidden Haven. Minske served for 25 years in the department, the last four as chief.

Park equipment

Park Board Chair Mike Pederson and Halliday reported that most of the adult fitness equipment has been installed in Boettcher Park. The adult fitness circuit is the first of its kind in the United States, they said.

Equipment for a children’s playground has been installed. The slab for the pavilion has been poured. Trusses are on order and may take three to four weeks to arrive. There have been positive responses to the fitness equipment provided by local manufacturer Xccent.

Carp barriers

The deadline is Sept. 1 to apply for a grant to help fund the carp barriers planned along the Sunrise River between Typo Lake and Martin Lake. The pool of money is $575,000.

A smaller grant had to be returned because the Sunrise River Water Management Organization did not have enough funds to install one of the barriers. There is still $38,222.30 in SRWMO funds which can be used for the projects. Millerbernd is concerned that project organizers may be getting discouraged. He said the organization is manning an informational booth at Linwood Family Fun Day.

Other business

In other business, the board:

– Unanimously agreed to accept a contract with HLB-Tautges Redpath Ltd. to conduct the 2013 audit at a cost of $24,200. This is a 2.5 percent increase, the first in several years.

– Unanimously accepted an offer of $8,000 from Great River Energy for easements rights to land needed for power line extension. This is an increase from an earlier offer.

– Learned former Lent Township employee Pam Olson is filling the vacancy in the township office on a short-term basis. Osterhus said Olson is “willing to train any newcomer” to the position if she does not stay.

– Discussed a July 31 information session put on by Anoka County regarding financial abuse of older adults. The session was attended by supervisors Halliday, Ed Kramer, Millerbernd and Osterhus. More information on the topic is available at

– Learned that the garden group is planning an outing at the Minnesota Arboretum on Aug. 22. For more information, call Laura Hermann at 651-462-1494.

County Board meeting

The Anoka County Board of Commissioners met at Linwood Senior Center for its Aug. 13 meeting. The group approved the transfer of shoreland and septic inspections from the county to Linwood Township.

Anoka County retains the right to grant variances and amend the pertinent county ordinances. Linwood supervisors had approved this cooperative agreement July 23.

The county commissioners were impressed with the new trash and recycling bins that have been ordered for the township’s parks. They are one-piece units with separate compartments. Supervisor Ed Kramer has been sawing concrete slabs to which the new units will be secured. Osterhus and Searing also attended the meeting.

  • Steve Anderson

    First – a growing number of folks are expressing their agreement with (and support of) my posts – to them all I say “thank you”. It’s always nice to know that ones efforts for improvements are noticed, welcomed and appreciated.
    — Accolades go out to the individuals who continue to work hard on getting Linwood’s cemetery issues ironed out. Hopefully future errors or mistakes will be avoided. For that to happen however individuals involved in the process need to be held accountable.
    At one town board meeting Supervisor Searing made a motion that would have helped prevent future cemetery mistakes. The motion would have improved accountability and would have provided assurance that necessary tasks would be performed to public expectations. The other four supervisors for some reason did not agree, so there was no seconding of the motion and therefore no action that would have helped prevent future mistakes. I challenge those four supervisors to explain their reasons for not supporting positive change and accountability.
    — It’s great that Linwood’s elected officials agree on the importance of being informed and educated about older adult financial abuse. As Baby Boomers age it’s very likely various forms of elder abuse will occur more frequently. However, if tax dollars were involved, I question the need for four supervisors to attend the informational meeting. A better idea perhaps would have been for the chairperson of the Senior Advisory Board to attend the meeting instead.